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Hayden Panettiere Admits Her ‘Nashville’ Character Was Inspired by the ‘Incredibly Interesting’ Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood
Jason Merritt/Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Nashville‘ star Hayden Panettiere has already dismissed rumors that her contentious character on the new ABC series is based on Taylor Swift, but the actress-turned-small-screen-singer has admitted that fellow blonde beauty Carrie Underwood served as muse for the fictional Juliette Barnes character. Well, at least one aspect of her.

“She’s one of those girls that doesn’t do the whole dancing-around-choreography thing but has that stage presence like no other,” Panettiere says of Underwood’s onstage charisma. “She can just stand there and be incredibly interesting.”

It doesn’t take much insight to realize that Panettiere’s up-and-coming character won’t be winning any congeniality awards with her fictional music industry colleagues, based on the onslaught of catty clips plastered on television and online in promotion of the new series. Given Underwood’s reputation as a darling of the country music industry, it’s safe to say that the ‘Good Girl’ singer’s seasoned stage presence is where any similarities between the two end.

“I think that we have a real opportunity to show the complexities of these two people in show business and particularly women,” says actress Connie Britton, who appears opposite Panettiere as the seasoned superstar Rayna James. “I, for one, feel a really strong responsibility to do that in a way that’s true and dignified.”

Now that Swift knows she is not the inspiration behind the sinister character, the ‘Begin Again’ singer can breathe a sigh of relief — and give ‘Nashville’ her stamp of approval. “I saw the pilot. It’s amazing. I think she did an incredible job of being sinister and adorable at the same time, and we had a hilarious conversation about it,” shares Swift.

The highly-anticipated series is set to premiere tonight (Oct. 10) at 10PM ET. Tune into ABC and speculate who the real inspirations behind the feuding female country music stars are!

Next: Carrie Underwood's Acting Role

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